Watering winter tunnels with snow

 
 
Yesterday I opened my winter tunnels to check on them. My husband and I shoveled open the gate and then shoveled our way to the beds. We still have about a foot of snow on the ground. We shoveled the snow along one side of each bed and then lifted the plastic covers. I was hoping to see nicer looking vegetables. They were very dry. I have a lot of spinach, some arugula, red beet greens, escarole, endive, kale, and broccoli. But all were wilting and small. In past years,…
 

Today’s project – Sowing onion seeds

 
 
Today I planted onions, leeks, shallots, and bunching onions. I really think they are my favorite vegetable family to grow. They are the seeds that are planted FIRST – right after Valentine’s Day and right in the middle of the coldest and snowiest part of winter. It’s just so exciting to plant and know that now there’s a part of spring growing and on its way. Onions are very happy grown close together. I worked at a farm that planted their onions in trays with a guide to space seeds…
 

the middle of winter

 
 
I certainly feel like it’s the middle of winter right now. We’ve had 25 inches of snow in the past couple weeks, only a couple days with blue skies, but fortunately not too cold for having fun snowshoeing with the dogs. I think this is why Valentine’s Day comes at this time – it’s the time for chocolate and … well… hanging out with the special someone before you get all busy with planting, transplanting, growing, weeding, harvesting, canning, cooking…… Cheers to the icy season!  
 

an app for seed planting!

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I’ve written a cute little app that reminds you when to plant your vegetables seeds. Set your own frost dates and pick your crops to grow. The app makes a calendar for you. And it has helpful tips and planting information for each vegetable. I hope you give it a try. Some users have been disappointed that Skippy’s Calendar App doesn’t work on an IPad. On a tablet, the date selector doesn’t work. The app works great on phones. I am working on getting the app to work on a…
 

almost time to plant seeds

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I usually start planting seeds for my summer garden around Valentine’s Day. That’s just around the corner now. The first seeds I’m planting this year are celeriac and onions on Feb 17. That’s 11 weeks before my last spring frost (May 5). I’m going to plant a lot of onions, most I will donate to Aurelia’s Pantry  Garden. I’m planting yellow onions: Cortland and Patterson. Red onions: Rossa Di Milano and Wethersfield Red. Shallots: Conservor, Ambition, Zebrune, and Crème Brûlée (BGS-270). Leeks: Mechelen Blue Green Winter and Bandit. And bunching…
 

winter tunnels with spinach, kale, and escarole

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I have two winter tunnels covered with a few layers of winter fabric and one of green house plastic on the top. I also have a half bed of cabbage covered with a couple floating layers of winter row cover fabric. They are all doing well this winter. In this time of short daylight, I don’t expect the plants to grow much. But it’s nice that they are hanging in there. No rodents are eating them and surviving the cold, which is awesome. The plant’s growth will take off mid…
 

 
 
I’m sorry if you visited my site in the past 3 days and got a seriously scary notice! OMG. My SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate expired and no one at my hosting company warned me. So the browsers put up that notice. I don’t get it because sites that have never had an SSL don’t get that notice, so why does one whose just expired get it and get blocked? And why is the wording of the notice so aggressive?  I’m stumped. Maybe an expert can explain it to me.…
 

saving, storing, and organizing seed packets

 
 
I don’t know if most people realize that seeds last more than one year – often 10 or more years. I never throw out a seed packet until it stops germinating. A seed’s life span is different for different types of seeds. While parsnips, and onions last only a couple years, I have had tomato seeds that are still viable after 15 years. seed viability Here’s a nice seed viability table from James Romer at Iowa State University. It looks to me like these lengths of life expectancy may be…
 

where to buy seeds

 
 
It is only mid-January, but many varieties are running out of stock at on-line seed companies now. Time to order!  I recommend purchasing from small, local seed companies. They will be selling varieties that are adapted to your area. I also like to support small, family-run companies. These are some of the companies I recommend. Fedco Seeds – Maine Pinetree Garden Seeds – Maine Maine Potato Lady – Maine Vermont Bean Seed Company – Vermont Fruition Seeds – New York Hudson Valley Seed Company – New York Turtle Tree Biodynamic…
 

washing pots for seed starting

 
 
I have a collection of old pots that I reuse again and again for seed planting. It is important to wash and disinfect them well to avoid diseases that can kill seedlings. I washed a big stack of 128-cell seed trays the other day. This should be all of the pots I need for seedlings this year. It is important to wash and disinfect pots that are reused to raise seedlings. Molds, fungi, and pathogens can remain on the pots. Germinating seeds and small seedlings are highly susceptible to damping…
 

Kathy Martin
This is a journal of my vegetables gardens. Skippy thinks the garden is his, even though I do all the work. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6). I have bees, chickens, fruit trees and berry bushes. I use all organic and sustainable methods and strive to grow all of my family's vegetables myself. -Kathy


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weeks and counting until my last spring frost


What I'm planting next

Feb 26
Celeriac, Rosemary, Parsley, Beets

March 5
Cabbage, Kale, Escarole

March 12
Broccoli, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers


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My garden this week

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Skippy’s vegetable of the month – POPCORN!


"It seems like the garden is fast asleep under its cover of snow. But hidden from view a secret world is busy preparing to grow."



"What can happen to a seed really is a miracle."


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